LOS ANGELES—Recall District Attorney George Gascón organizers say they will submit more than 700,000 petition signatures in time for today’s deadline at the county’s election office.
If a minimum of 566,857 signatures are verified, voters will decide whether to oust the progressive DA from office in November’s General Election.
“The sheer magnitude of this effort, and time and investment required to get to this point, show how strong the public desire is to remove George Gascón from office,” recall spokesman Tim Lineberger said in a statement. “From day one, this recall has been led by the very victims who Gascón has abandoned, ignored, and dismissed. When the recall qualifies, he will not be able to ignore them any longer.”
California, along with 19 other states, has outlined a recall process in its constitution to allow voters to eject an elected official from office.
Gascón, elected in December 2020, has drawn controversy for his progressive reforms of Los Angeles County’s criminal justice system, such as no longer charging minors as adults, eliminating many sentencing enhancements including firearms, ending the death penalty, and removing cash bail for misdemeanors or nonviolent felony crimes.
Critics of these policies say it has only increased crime, pointing to statistics from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department earlier this year that show a 94 percent jump in homicides between 2019 to 2021, and a 54 percent increase in auto theft.
But Gascón has defended his policies and called the recall effort against him an initiative “driven by very conservative, very right-wing forces” during an interview with the “How We Win” podcast on June 1.
“They have sort of created this false narrative about this is anti-safety, which is kind of the same fear-mongering tactics frankly that you can go back to the Nixon era,” Gascón said during the hour-long interview.
More than 30 cities in Los Angeles County, including Torrance, Santa Clarita, Lancaster, and Beverly Hills, support the recall, with more than a dozen passing votes of no confidence against Gascón’s policies.
Several high-profile law enforcement unions, including the Los Angeles Association of Deputy District Attorneys, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and the Los Angeles Police Protective League also support the recall.
The Office of the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk has 30 working days to verify recall signatures.